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06 December 2012

Mazda CX-5 beats the 86 and BRZ as Japan's 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year

Words by Christopher Kho
japancoty cx5
Well waddya know. Contrary to popular belief, the The Toyota 86, and its fraternal twin the Subaru BRZ, apparently is not the best car to come out from the land of the rising sun this year. Beating it by 45 votes is the all-new Mazda CX-5 which earned the coveted title of 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Japan.
According to the Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) committee, the 86 and BRZ did impress with its “thrilling rear-wheel-drive handling, high-revving boxer engine, and reasonable price. But it was the CX-5's “revolutionary SKYACTIV technology, great handling, and economical clean diesel engine” that impressed the jurors the most.
In accepting the trophy, Mazda's Executive Officer of Product Planning and Powertrain Development Kiyoshi Fujiwara said: “It was a long road. In the early days of Skyactiv development, I had a lot of opposition from colleagues suggesting this technology was not the answer. But we stayed true to our goals, and here we are today, fully recognized by the COTY jurors.”
The CX-5 is Mazda's first model to incorporate all of the brand's SKYACTIV technologies including the engine, transmission, body, and chassis. It's also the first to embody Mazda's new design theme they call “KODO - Soul of Motion.” But it was the new-generation SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine that really stood out amongst this year's nominees. Not only does it provide the performance of a powerful V8, but also achieve a fuel economy as high as 18.6 km/L.
Mazda's win in the 2012 - 2013 Car of the Year Japan also reflects the CX-5's sales performance. Since sales begun in February of this year, they've already received more than 37,000 orders which is three times more than what they anticipated.
Though there's no prize in finishing second-best, the 86 and BRZ didn't go home empty-handed as they were awarded the Sentimental COTY Steering Committee Special Prize. Meanwhile, the BMW 3 Series snatched the Import Car of the Year with 282 votes beating the Range Rover Evoque.
All passenger vehicles with an expected annual sales volume of over 500 units, announced or launched in Japan between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2012 are eligible for this year’s Japan Car of the Year award.
For complete results, visit